“I can’t believe he’s not started Berbatov! That’s last season’s Golden Boot winner and he’s on the bench! Welbeck did alright on loan at Sunderland last year, but he’s no Berba”
These are the words spoken by the football expert as he relaxes in his sofa, remote control in one hand and ice-cold beer in the other, as he prepares to watch Manchester United play against Tottenham in High Definition television. The picture quality is so sharp he can see each implant on Wayne Rooney’s head and the sound makes him feel like he is sitting right next to Sir on the United bench.
This expert is a grizzled veteran of the Premier League – he has FIFA11 on the Playstation (played only on legendary, that’s the hardest level if you didn’t know) and he has racked up countless hours playing Football Manager on the PC. He knows the entire United squad inside out, down to the U19 team and can tell you who the most exciting prospect is for the coming year. Don’t try to argue statistics with the expert either – he’ll tell you (without assistance from Google) how many goals Rooney has scored and how many assists he made since 2004. He’ll be able to rattle off the number of games Rooney has been injured and provide a detailed comparison to Drogba and Van Persie which will illustrate just how good Wazza is and .
The game commences and Manchester United start brightly, fizzing the ball around with the team full of invention and movement. Ashley Young creates a bit of space down the left flank and drills in a cross but Welbeck is expertly covered by the Spurs defence. Spur eventually gain some composure after the first 15 minutes but United always look threatening on the counter attack with the pace of Nani, Young and Rooney.
Half time comes and the expert is straight onto Twitter account lambasting Welbeck. He’s had a couple of poor touches and the expert is asking his fellow pundits why Welbeck started. He wants to know why Berba, or even Hernandez, didn’t start.
Manchester United continue in a similar vein in the second half, dominating possession and harrying Spurs when they do lose the ball. The creativity is there but that goal is proving elusive for United. Finally, in the 60th minute a perfectly floated cross by Cleverly from the right hand side is expertly directed into the far corner by Welbeck. The expert is out of his chair, knocking over his beer and air punching dangerously close to the TV set whilst his wife looks up briefly from her magazine to see what all the fuss is about.
The expert is back on Twitter. “Welbeck you beauty! What a goal son. I always knew you’d make the step up if given the chance. #MUFC #gloryglory”
It’s all United now as Spurs lose complete control of the midfield. Kranjcar and Livermore are both tiring and the home team are trying to make their advantage count. Welbeck has grown in confidence since the goal and connects with an overhead kick that is unfortunately straight at Friedel. Spurs finally make a couple of substitutions with Kranjcar withdrawn for Pavlyuchenko and Livermore off for Tom Huddlestone. The change seems to have little impact as a good passing move involving Young and Rooney results in a cheeky back heel from Welbeck into the path of Anderson for a well-taken goal!
The reaction from the expert is more subdued this time. He’s relaxed since the first goal and now that his faith in Sir is renewed, all is well with the world. He tweets again “Got to acknowledge that Ferguson knows what he’s doing. Young players being given a chance to show what they can do. #MUFC”
In the 78th minute, Sir makes three changes. The impressive Welbeck is off (to a standing ovation) as are Cleverly and Young. On come Hernandez, Giggs and Park as replacements. There’s enough time for Nani to pass to Giggs who chips in a ball directly onto the pip of the newly-haired Rooney.
It’s all over at Old Trafford. United deserved winners and Tottenham pay the price for some poor decision-making in the final third.
The expert is all smiles (just like Sir) and ends the evening with a final tweet “United United United” and copies the same status to his Facebook.